As one of the world’s poorest countries, Nepal’s economy took a huge hit following the devastating earthquake in 2015 which killed thousands of people and damaged much of its infrastructure.
Employment has suffered, with many people flocking to the capital, Kathmandu, from rural parts of the country in search of work to support their families. ICS volunteers help to tackle this problem by working with young entrepreneurs in rural communities to help them develop their businesses.
Health is another focus of ICS in Nepal. As a volunteer, you could also be working to improve access to safe water and sanitation services or holding peer education, awareness raising and training sessions to help young people make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
ICS volunteers also work to ensure high standards of education across Nepal. Working with primary and secondary students as well as different community groups, you could be helping make sure children are receiving a quality education.
Supporting health initiatives
With Raleigh, you’ll be focusing on improving access to safe water and sanitation services as well as trying to get communities to change their behaviour towards health and hygiene. You’ll also be contributing to positive change around gender, governance, school attendance and the environment.
VSO volunteers work with local communities and schools in order to raise awareness on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues. You will organise and run health camps, awareness campaigns and training on SRH issues for the empowerment of young people and women.
Helping people to support themselves and their families
Young people are moving from the rural areas towards the cities in search of work. Young entrepreneurs from some of the poorest communities receive support from Raleigh volunteers to develop business plans, access finance, link up with mentors and run their businesses.
Volunteers with Restless Development could be working with 12 to 16-year-olds to give them more information about making the best choices for their future – whether that’s in further education, training in a vocation, or setting up their own business.
And with VSO, volunteers will work with female community members and women-focused co-operatives to improve agriculture and livestock management, better look after forestry and support small businesses.
Progress has been fast in Nepal. In 1951, just 5% of adults were literate. Jump forward to 2015, and more than two thirds of all Nepalese adults had had an education. VSO volunteers are helping to make sure that the good work doesn’t stop here.
VSO volunteers carry out a range of activities helping to ensure the quality of primary and secondary education is improved. This includes teacher training, teaching English, career development workshops for students and carrying out upgrades to libraries and sanitation facilities.
Living in Nepal
There are multiple project locations in Nepal including Sindhuli District, Lamjung, Kathmandu, and Kavre. All volunteers in Nepal live with host families, usually with one other volunteer.
As with other placements, volunteers living with host families will be expected to eat like a local. Nepalese food relies heavily on locally-grown ingredients and spices, with rice or lentils usually accompanying chunky vegetables, lean meat or fish.
And it’s not just what happens on placement that counts. Volunteers plan and organise community projects and events like talent shows and sports tournaments as well as get involved with fundraising for infrastructure projects and renovations.